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Colin Bennun

 

For mastering information, please visit the Mastering pages.

Colin (aka Colin OOOD) has always had a passion for music and for as long as he can remember he has been driven to write, record and perform. He started piano lessons in 1975 at the age of 5, but not before meeting his first synthesiser at the Exeter University Department of Music's open day, which he found more interesting than the piano on which it was resting.  He wrote his first piano piece at the age of six or seven and joined his first band at the age of fifteen after helping pay for his own birthday present of a Roland Juno 6 synth.  Within a year he was gigging regularly with local band Beau Monde.  As well as programming his own music applications on his family's home computer, at this time he became interested in four-track recording and over the next couple of years produced band demos and solo tracks of increasing complexity and quality.  By 1986, at the age of 16, he had bought his first Akai sampler and had started using early Atari-based sequencers to make music.

Whilst at Exeter College in 1988 he spent most of his time in the music department’s 8-track recording studio writing and recording a wide variety of music, both solo and with his band and other collaborators.  After discovering Exeter's burgeoning Acid House scene via bar jobs in the city's nightclubs he was inspired to make his own acid tracks, and before he was 18 he was signed to his first management contract.  This led to tours including Saturday night performances at the Hippodrome and Empire Ballroom nightclubs on London's Leicester Square, and to recording sessions in Soho and at Exeter's main 24-track studio, Trickey Sound.  He impressed the studio so much they offered him a job looking after the studio's MIDI setup and producing their in-house projects, and he worked there until leaving to take a Computing degree at Oxford Brookes University in 1989, where he took Electronic Music modules and continued to produce on his ever-improving home studio.


During his degree he joined the independant folk-rock band Cosmic Smiles as piano/keyboard player, and in his 13 years with them performed across the UK, co-wrote and performed on six of their albums and mixed their final release.  His housemates at the time - a drummer and a bass-player - also had a small studio in their basement, which saw heavy use, and as well as epic jam sessions and random songwriting, the three of them formed the core of the pit band for several local theatre productions that year.  Towards the end of his degree he was invited to be co-writer, keyboard player and programmer on a project following closely the KLF's recipe for #1 success "The Manual", which led to a two-day mixing session in the Big Room at Peter Gabriel's Real World studios near Bath, UK, but sadly not to a #1 hit single.

Following his degree Colin worked producing music and sound effects for computer games (including one of the very first PC CD-ROM games), and continued to write on his home setup.  Whilst working for Aditus he came across the Hardfloor track "Acperience"; fired up by its screaming acid riffs, poundingly hypnotic rhythm section and ecstatic progression he was inspired to write a track, and seeing a record label advertise in Sound on Sound magazine he decided to send it to them.  The label was Phantasm Records, and early in 1994 - before ever going to a trance party - his track 'Mendax' was featured on Phantasm's first ever compilation "Hard Trance + Psychedelic Techno", an album which has been referred to as "a reference for the start of the Goa movement".


The job ended but Colin remained focussed on making music, writing a variety of ambient dub, acid and trance-tinged tracks and giving his first solo live electronic performance at a dance event in Oxford in 1994.  Soon afterwards, whilst seeking sanctuary at a friend's house from a nutter with a baseball bat, he met Steve Callaghan who introduced him to the Pagan parties in London; here Colin learned what Goa/psy-trance was all about and developed a love-affair with the genre that has lasted to this day.  Soon after meeting Steve he met Nigel Bradbury; collaborations ensued with each of them, and then with both, and by September 1994 OOOD was in existence.  The band didn't have a name however until later that year when a revelation at a Pagan party led Colin to realise the three of them were "Out Of Our Depth".

OOOD moved from Oxford to Bristol in the early days of the new millennium and Colin discovered a talent for training and tuition which enabled him to concentrate on OOOD and his other creative projects through the lean times experienced by any band that lasts longer than a few years.  It was around this time that he joined Oxford band Autospy as bass-player and backing vocalist, a collaboration that lasted 4 years.  His friendship and collaboration with Michael Martin (aka Indidginus) began in 2001, while in 2004 Colin formed a side-project named Voice of Cod with friend and DJ Andrew Humphries.  Together the pair wrote and released albums in 2005 and 2008 on Organic Records; their 2005 release "We Are Free" was the first album Colin had mastered since OOOD's second CD release in 1999, and the results garnered enough praise to provide a springboard for his alternative career in mastering and post-production.  Andrew emigrated to Australia in 2008 and performs their music there, whilst Colin flies the Voice of Cod flag at parties and festivals outside Austraila.

Colin is now the regular mastering engineer for an ever-expanding list of record labels including Arkona Creation, Broken, Cronomi, DAT Mafia, Devil’s Mind, Distant Tremor, Landmark and Wonk#ay, in addition to the many one-off projects he has worked on. The list of artists who regularly call on his services is even longer, and is growing day by day.  On stage with OOOD, Colin's place is behind the keyboards and mixer, blending and tweaking all 4 members' contributions and adding riffs, melodies and atmospherics.


 



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